Keeping the FAIR in Fair Housing
As we begin National Fair Housing Month, let’s dedicate ourselves to maintaining the regulations and practicing fair housing rules. Remember the best aspect of this national act: it’s FAIR!
Everyone longs for fairness. From a very young age, children sense right and wrong and often shout, “That’s not fair!” As adults, we learn that one of the most important characteristics we bring to our relationships is the capacity and desire to treat others right. In the business world, our reputation is based on our ability to treat others impartially and objectively. Treating others fair is not just a nice idea…it is the basis of successful human interactions in all facets of life.
So let’s keep the FAIR in Fair Housing! The rules are critical and you have to know how to apply them in every aspect of apartment leasing, maintenance, and management! If you mess up, it can cost you and your company hundreds of thousands in fines and punitive damages. Even more than fair, the law requires us to treat others EQUALLY. Remember these basics.
The National Fair Housing Act identifies seven protected classes of people.
It is against the law to discriminate based on the rental prospect’s:
- Race – Ethnic Background
- Color – Skin and Hair
- Religion or Creed – Belief System
- National Origin – Country they are from
- Sex or Gender – Male/Female/Other
- Disability/Handicap – Limitations to doing specific life tasks
- Familial Status – Family makeup
“No Discrimination” means we treat all people of these 7 protected classes fair and equally in all leasing, maintenance, renewal, and management activities. Every person on your property must play by these rules including vendors, apartment locators, owners, and investors!
Don’t FREAK OUT about fair housing! Rather, embrace the spirit of fair housing as you follow all the rules. It’s FAIR! This national act is one of the most important advantages and tools we have as multi-family management professionals. Everyone wants to be treated fair. Properly applying the law will create a leasing environment that will actually enhance your success in leasing and keeping residents.